AP literary terms for AP exam Flashcards

Terms Definitions
antithesis
opposition; contrast:
Fact
something known with certainty
pyrrhic foot
uu Unstressed, Unstressed
Colloquialism
Diction and Dialect:
 
An expression not used in formal speech.
 
Ex: "Y'all don't wanna be goin' to the mall!"
Denotation
Literal def of a word
Invective
Speech/writing that abuses, denounces, attacks.
Allusion
passing reference or indirect mention
Anaphora
The intentional repetition of beginning clauses in order to create an artistic effect. For instance, Churchill declared, "We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on the end. We shall fight in France. We shall fight on the seas and oceans. We shall fight..."
Imagery
Figurative Lanuage and Stylistic Devices:
 
Language that appeals to the senses.
 
Ex: His skin was covered in warm, soft sheep's wool.
ANTHROPOMORPHISM
attributing human characteristics to an animal or inanimate object (Personification)
asyndenton
conjunctions are omitted, producing a fast paced and rapid prose
Cacophony
Particurally in poetry- The deliberate use of really harsh sounds
simile
an explicet comparison, normally using like, as or if.
Denoument
Conclusion; the outcome of a plot.
Alliteration
The repetition of sounds, especially initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words (as in "she sells sea shells").
Although the term is not used in the multiple-choice section, you can look for it in any essay passage. The repetition can reinforce meaning, unify ideas, and/or supply a musical sound
Syllogism
deductive reasoning in which a conclusion is derived from two premises: "a=b, b=c, therefore a=c"
devices
The figures of speech, syntax, diction, and other stylistic elements that collectively produce a particular artistic effect
Popular Diction
Diction and Dialect:
 
A compromise of formal and informal diction, it is diction used to appeal to the average reader or audience.
 
Ex: Teachers use popular diction in order for their students to understand them.
metaphor
a comparison between two things WITHOUT using "like" or "as".
Ambiguity
deliberatly suggesting two or more defferent,sometimes conflicting, meanings in a work. An event or situation that may be interpreted in more that one way- this is done on purpose by the author, when done on purpose, is vagueness,detracts from the work
APHORISM
brief, cleverly worded statement that makes a wise observation about life, or of a principle or accepted general truth. Also called maxim, epigram.
COUPLET
two consecutive rhyming lines of poetry.
Synesthesia
is the conflation of the senses.
paradox
a statement that appears to be contradictory but, in fact, has some truth
Asyndeton
a construction in which elements are presented in a series without conjunctions
Litotes
"Little tee" A form of understatement that involves making an affirmative point by denying its opposite
Chiasmus
2 corresponding pairs arranged not in parallels (abab) but in inverted order (abba)
foil
A secondary character whose purpose is to highlight the characteristics of a main character, usually by contrast
Free verse
Poetry without regular rhyme or meter.
Extended Metaphor
a sustained comparison, often referred to as a conceit.
synecdoche
mentioning a part of something to represent a whole
sonnet
14 line poem, fixed rhyme scheme, fixed meter (usually 10 syllables per line)
subject complement
the word (with any accompanying phrases) 1. predicate nominative, predicate adj.
ad hominem
"against the man"; speech which disparages, insults, slanders, or accuses the **person** himself rather than the person's contentions, ideas, opinions, or intellectual positions.
http://www.theygaveusarepublic.com/diary/4136/rush-limbaugh-obama-ad-hominem-ad-nauseum
Apostrophe
Addressing someone absent or dead or something inhuman as if it were alive and present and could reply.
Parallel Structure (Parallelism)
Syntax:
 
The repetition of words, phrases, or sentences that have the same grammatical structure or that compare and contrast.
 
Ex: The production manager was asked to write his report quickly, accurately, and thoroughly.
lyric poetry
poetry which expresses feelings and thoughts of a single person in a personal and subjective manner
epitaph
lines that commemorate the dead at their burial place
EXTERNAL CONFLICT
conflicts can exist between two people, between a person and nature or a machine or between a person a whole society.
AESTHETIC
The noun "aesthetic" means "that which appeals to the senses". Aesthetics also refers to a philosophy that discusses beauty and art. An aesthetic (also esthetic or æsthetic) is the concept of a particular school of philosophy that judges beauty and art by certain standards -- for example, "He despised the aesthetic of minimalism".
ALLEGORY
story or poem in which characters, settings, and events stand for other people or events or for abstract ideas or qualities.
The repetition of similar vowel sounds followed by different consonant sounds especially in words that are together.
ASSONANCE
EPIGRAPH
a quotation or aphorism at the beginning of a literary work suggestive of the theme.
ANASTROPHE
Inversion of the usual, normal, or logical order of the parts of a sentence. Purpose is rhythm or emphasis or euphony. It is a fancy word for inversion.
CARICATURE
A portrait (verbal or otherwise) that exaggerates a facet of an individual’s personality or appearance.
Consonance
A special type of alliteration in which the repeated pattern of consonants is marked by changes in the intervening vowels. Rider, reader, raider
Imperative
a mood that expresses an intention to influence the listener's behavior (Ex. Listen! Go!)
Dramatic monologue
Single speaker in literature talks to silent audience.
Epic
A long narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds
clause
a grammical unit that contains both a subject and a verb
Antithetical ideas
When contrasting ideas are balanced in sentences and paragraphs
Stream of Consciousness
A literary technique presenting the thoughts of a character as they occur.
internal rhyme
rhyme that occurs WITHIN a line, rather than at the end
metonymy
one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated
pathos
when the writing of a scene evokes feelings of dignified pity and sympathy
ANALOGY
Analogy is the comparison of two pairs which have the same relationship. The key is to ascertain the relationship between the first so you can choose the correct second pair. Part to whole, opposites, results of are types of relationships you should find. Example: hot is to cold as fire is to ice OR hot:cold::fire:ice
ARGUMENTATION
one of the four forms of discourse which uses logic, ethics, and emotional appeals (logos, ethos, pathos) to develop an effective means to convince the reader to think or act in a certain way.
A Story or poem in which characters, settings, and events stand for other people or events or for abstract ideas or qualities. EXAMPLE: Animal Farm; Dante’s Inferno; Lord of the Flies
ALLEGORY
pathetic fallacy
The attribution of human traits to nature or inanimate objects.
aporia
the expression of a simulated or real doubt, as about where to begin or what to do or say.
Narrative
a series of events that tells a story, which may or may not be true
Diction
Choice and use of words in speech or writing
Concrete poetry
A poem wherein shape of words and lines conveys the meaning.
rhetorical question
a statement that is formulated as a question but that is not supposed to be answered
passive voice
A sentence in which the subject is acted upon by the verb. Ex. The leaves were raked by the crew.
TELEGRAPHIC SENTENCE
A sentence shorter than five words in length.
pun
the usually humorous use of a word in such a way as to suggest two or more meanings
ANAGRAM
Anagram is a word or phrase made by transposing the letters. Example: cask to sack; weird to wired
DYNAMIC CHARACTER
is one who changes in some important way as a result of the story’s action.
In Medias Res
a story starts in the middle rather than the beginning
falling action
is all of the action that takes place after the climax of a literary work. During this time, the conflict is resolved, and the suspense decreases.
CLICHE
is a word or phrase, often a figure of speech, that has become lifeless because of overuse. Avoid clichés like the plague. (That cliché is intended.)
STATIC CHARACTER
is one who does not change much in the course of a story.
Assonance
Repition of vowel sounds
euphony
when sounds blend harmoniously
Lyric
Any poem having songlike quality
Archaism
Use of deliberately old-fashioned diction.
Tone
Describes the author's attitude toward his or her material, the audience, or both (all literature has some sort of tone).
Example: "Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world." -Frankenstein: Victor speaks these words at the very beginning of the novel, setting an ominous tone for the story.
Epithet
Figurative Lanuage and Stylistic Devices:
 
An adjective or other descriptive phrase that is regularly used to characterize a noun.
 
Ex: Alexander the Great 
inference/infer
to draw reasonable conclusions from the information presented.
Expletive
Word interrupting syntax to give emphasis to words around it.
catharsis
emotional release afforded by a tragedy
parallelism
presents coordinating ideas in a coordinating manner
Pedantic
An adjective that describes words, phrases, or general tone that is overly scholarly, academic, or bookish. Something that is pedantic would seem overly-learned or ostentatiously intelligent. Pedantic writing is writing which sounds unnecessarily detailed or like someone is trying to sound very smart. It could also be writing which is doctrinaire or dogmatic--like a lecture or a sermon.
Dialect
Diction and Dialect:
 
A way of speaking that is characteristic of a particular region or goup of people.
 
Ex: Mandarin is a dialect of the Chinese language.
Antagonist
Character who struggles against the ‘good’ character; the counterpart of the protagonist (i.e. The Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz)
setting
time, place and social context in which a story takes place
enjambment
employment of run-on lines that carry the sense of the statement from one line to another without rhetorical or syntactic pause in terms of another
generic conventions
this term describes traditions for each genre. these conventions helpto define eachgenre,for example,they diffentiate between an essay and journalistic writing or an autobiography and political writing.
Meiosis
saying something spectacular as if it were nothing at all; understatement
Local color
Use of specific details describing dialect, dress, customs, and scenery associated with a particular region.
atmosphere
the emotional nod created by the entirely of a literary work, established partly by the setting and partly by the authors choice of objects described.
mock epic
a parody of traditional epic form
repetition
repeated use of sounds, words, or ideas for effect and emphasis
Symbolic Act
a gesture with larger significance than usual
onomatopoeia
  words whose sounds resembles what it describes
ACADEMIC WRITING
Writing that is usually serious, intended for a critical and informed audience, based on closely-investigated knowledge, and presents ideas or arguments.
FLASHBACK
a scene that interrupts the normal chronological sequence of events in a story to depict something that happened at an earlier time.
Brief story, told to illustrate a point or serve as an example of something, often shows character of an individual
ANECDOTE
BLANK VERSE
Poetry written without rhymes, but which retains a set metrical pattern, usually iambic pentameter (five iambic feet per line) in English verse. Since it is a very flexible form, the writer not being hampered in the expression of thought or syntactic structure by the need to rhyme, it is used extensively in narrative and dramatic poetry. In lyric poetry, blank verse is adaptable to lengthy descriptive and meditative poems. An example of blank verse is found in the well-known lines from Act 4, Scene 1 of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. (see TRADITIONAL VERSE and FREE VERSE)
Symbol
a word or object that stands for another word or object
Satire
A work that targets human vices and follies or social institutions and conventions for reform or ridicule
Dual Alternative
an event explained multiple ways, but the writer never tells which is true
Exposition
Writing or speech that is organized to explain
Oxymoron
a figure of speech where congrous or contradictory terms appear side to side
naturalism
a term that is sometimes applies to writing that demonstrates a deep interest in NATURE (Wordsworth)
PROTAGONIST
the central character in a story, the one who initiates or drives the action. Usually the hero or anti-hero; in a tragic hero, like John Proctor of The Crucible, there is always a hamartia, or tragic flaw in his character which will lead to his downfall
CONNOTATION
Connotation is an implied meaning of a word. Opposite of denotation. Example: Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest (burial)
PERIODIC
sentence that places the main idea or central complete thought at the end of the sentence, after all introductory elements.
Calling out to an imaginary, dead, or absent person, or to a place or thing, or a personified abstract idea. If the character is asking a god or goddess for inspiration it is called an invocation.
APOSTROPHE
INTERNAL CONFLICT
a conflict can be internal, involving opposing forces within a person’s mind.
ESSAY
a short piece of nonfiction prose in which the writer discusses some aspect of a subject.
theme
the central idea or message of a work, the insight it offers into life.
Ars poetica
A poem wrriten on the subject of poetic art, usually explaining poet's reasons for writing.
Rhetoric
The art and logic of a written or spoken argument to persuade, to analyze, or to expose
Apostrophes
The superscript sign ( ' ) used to indicate the omission of a letter or letters from a word, the possessive case, or the plurals of numbers, letters, and abbreviations.
TRAGEDY
in general, a story in which a heroic character either dies or comes to someother unhappy end.
interior monolouge
it refers to writing that records the mental talking that goes on inside a character's head.
VERBAL IRONY
occurs when someone says one thing but really means something else.
Begging the question
a logical fallacy in which a premise of an argument contains a direct or indirect assumption that the conclusion is true
loose sentence
a long sentence with the main point at the beginning
Third Person Point of View
Here the narrator does not participate in the action of the story as one of the characters, but lets us know exactly how the characters feel. We learn about the characters through this outside voice.
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